Single and ready to mingle in Taiwan? Then meet your new matchmaker: your government.
With a 2009 birth rate falling below half the replacement rate, the island’s conspicuous lack of baby-making threatens to devastate the economy — and officials have recently gotten creative about the problem-solving. They have previously launched an advertising campaign to entice “unattached” peoples to have children and subsidized fertility treatments for couples struggling to conceive. The health ministry, meanwhile, has begun occasionally closing their doors early to urge civil servants to go home and focus on populating that shrinking workforce of theirs.
Now, the Ministry of Interior (IOM) is taking direct actionto make their citizenry be fruitful and multiply, subjecting its own dateless employees to mandatory fraternization. For starters, they will attempt to match up the female workers at the ministry with the high number of single male bachelors in the National Police Administration. They will also require each of its agencies to have an annual date night, featuring activities about which I can only speculate — government-sponsored speed-dating, coed Taipei dance workshops, romantic comedy screenings in Taijiang national park?
What remains to be seen is if any of these devised aphrodisiac-inducing affairs can precipitate the 1.5-million baby boost needed to rejuvenate a populace that seems increasingly inclined to opt for celibacy — or if the Taiwanese are merely too attached to their current personal preferences, too weary of concieving in the Year of the Tiger, or too terrified of that Hello Kitty-themed hospital to remedy the population decline. (via FP)